Design+Democracy Project

The Design+Democracy Project is a research unit at Massey University’s College of Creative Arts, New Zealand. We are exploring the role that design and ‘design thinking’ can play in advancing 21st century citizenship.

These days, technology has made it easier than ever to access information, connect, build networks and communicate ideas. But technology alone does not mean young people will engage in political conversations. We think design is the missing ingredient. Through design, we can harness technology to build a vibrant democracy.

Last year we successfully contributed to an increase in voter turnout at New Zealand’s local elections, delivering the VoteLocal voter advice application to three cities. Our past initiatives include the award-winning youth voter facilitation online tools, On the Fence and Ask Away. During the 2014 New Zealand General Elections, independent research showed our work to be the most successful in engaging young electors. We’re proud of that. Recently we sought to enrich and draw lessons from the New Zealand Flag Consideration Process through Flagpost. This year we’re returning our focus to the 2017 General Elections.

We believe in collaboration and work in partnership with industry, Government, and the social sector.